Sales enablement is the strategy of providing the sales of your company with all the tools they need to succeed.
This can come in the form of setting up email templates to save a lot of time or utilizing an AI-powered smart technology to automate the task of finding the best prospects.
Therefore, the sales enablement strategy will be different for every company, but there are still a set of prescriptions that the best companies are using to get the most out of sales enablement.
Why does a company require sales enablement? It would be more useful to answer the opposite, why wouldn’t a modern company require sales enablement?
In just five years, sales enablement has seen a 343% increase in companies utilizing its formal strategies. To put it simply, companies that focus heavily on sales, require the best sales enablement strategy for their sales team.
But having an enablement strategy in place isn’t the same as having the best possible strategy in place for success.
In fact, 34.4% of companies with sales enablement teams find that they meet their expectations. That means almost two out of every three companies are failing to implement the best possible strategy.
That’s where best practices come in handy. Below you’ll find the eleven best practices when it comes to your sales enablement strategy.
Sales Enablement Best Practices
1. Sales reps deserve the best
Of all the best practices, this step is the most important. Your sales enablement strategy needs to be as helpful as possible to each sales rep and sales in general.
This can take many forms, for instance, training them properly, giving them quick and easy access to all the sales content, or incentivizing the best sales reps by making their methods a model for the rest.
Sales reps lose 87% of sales training knowledge within 12 weeks of its instruction. Sales training is an important function in the enablement strategy because it provides the formal backbone of what guides your team and how your company functions.
Sales training can come in the form of seminars, power points, or shadowing. But the most effective method is continual and in-person coaching, which ensures your team retains more information.
And don’t keep it limited to the sales team. At every level of the company, your employees need to understand the intricate ins and outs of your products. Otherwise, how would a designer know which features the customers need? And especially for the marketing team, how would they know what content to write?
3. Align content with the buyer’s journey
Content marketing fits into sales enablement by providing the crucial support to fit whichever stage the buyer is on. The marketing team is just as important as the sales team during the process of the buyer’s journey.
Prospects and customers need to see and read about your company’s products, whether that be social media posts or case studies reviewing those products. Therefore, competent sales enablement content management is important. You can also use buyer personas to lead your content strategy.
Together with sales, marketing helps guide the customer through the sales cycles as efficiently as possible.
4. Institutionalize what the best sales reps are doing
Not all sales enablement strategies need to be rigid. Look at the sales reps for the high performer, understand what they’re doing, and try to implement a similar strategy for sales efficiency.
Because of uncertainty, copying high-performing employees is a solid option for what works. That rule should also apply to the top performing sales reps, which deserve a voice just as much as the sales managers.
They are the sales leader for a reason, so you can duplicate their success.
5. Use the best platforms and tools for your company
Using the best sales enablement platforms and tools for your sales enablement strategy is an important step in determining what exactly your company needs.
Today, there are many different ways to use sales enablement technology. For instance, you might need intelligent sales enablement tools such as AI-powered software to automatically look through mountains of data.
DYL is an excellent example of a cloud-based software designed to communicate through all channels, while also providing automated workflows that reach out to potential leads and prospects.
6. Build the best team
Many of the larger companies that implement a sales enablement strategy have both an official enablement charter and team in place.
But building a great sales enablement team isn’t just for those with the most resources. Sometimes you only require a handful of dedicated positions. Sales managers can invest in minimal people because it won’t cause any friction for the already hard-working sales team.
Remember that the sales reps deserve the best. You can create a more efficient sales process by having a dedicated team to alleviate challenging and time-consuming processes a sales rep doesn’t need to do.
7. Keep communication open
Broadly speaking, communication is key for the entire sales enablement strategy. From speaking to prospects and customers, to training members of your company, the ability to respect what the other person is saying goes a long way in building trust and accountability.
Excellent customer service is built on the foundations of communication. To ensure its success, sales enablement communication platforms go a long way in keeping the channels clear and open.
And again, don’t forget about internal communication. The members of your company each have a voice with individual opinions, suggestions, and experience.
8. Onboard the right people in the correct manner
Sales training and internal communication are vital, but only after a successful onboarding process.
You will need to seriously evaluate each potentially new employee, picked apart for their strengths and weaknesses, and placed on the right team. And make sure you keep track of these when training in the future so that each member will get a personalized approach to improving their effectiveness.
9. Measure the data at every step
The advantages of having a data driven approach for sales enablement are significant to your success.
Sales efficiency bookmarks are sets of data points showing every conceivable angle of the sales process. The important measurements to look at include lead to conversion rate, win rate, and sales cycle length, just to name a few.
Nowadays, measuring success and sales productivity are a few important KPIs for what your company is trying to achieve and making sure they see an increase over time.
10. Don’t go halfway
In order to have effective sales enablers, you need to formally adopt a strategy and work towards it without any hesitation. Your employees need to embrace sales enablement programs, otherwise their one function in improving the sales process will falter and overall sales performance could decline.
That means getting both the sales and marketing teams on the same board, while making the sales enablement content easy to access for all. Most CRM systems offer this level of mutual support and access, but it’s then important for all to use as well.
11. Reduce uncertainties
Sales and marketing effectiveness is hard to predict for the future. Therefore, finding the problems now and addressing how you can fix them can go a long way.
One of the best ways of achieving a top-performing sales team is through the data driven approach. You will discover a lot of micro-details that reduce or keep growth at neutral levels. Because they will affect your core KPIs, fine tuning these details is crucial for any company, regardless of the sales enablement strategy.
Of all the sales enablement best practices, reducing uncertainty is the most flexible and dependent practice. So, make sure to keep an open mind with an eye on the future.
To finish, here is the bottom line of the points discussed:
- The top sales reps need to have all the best information and content on hand. Additionally, they need continual training specific to their skills and abilities, which should have been made clear during the onboarding process.
- The best of these sales reps should set a clear example for future reps. But don’t forget that future uncertainties will arise, so remain flexible to their model.
- Don’t forget what’s best for your potential customers. Continue internal and external communication so that everyone will feel heard and appreciated.
- Carefully consider which sales enablement platform will work best according to your needs. It’s important to have one with a data-driven approach so you can easily measure your KPIs.
- Lastly, you should fully commit your company to adopt a proven sales enablement plan. This will keep everyone on the same page, so you can increase sales effectiveness.